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Sleeping Beauty and Xenopus: Transposons as Genetic Tools

[ Vol. 4 , Issue. 8 ]


M. R. Johnson Hamlet and P. E. Mead   Pages 687 - 697 ( 11 )


Transposons or transposable elements (TEs) are segments of DNA that are able to mobilize from one region of DNA to another. TEs serve as powerful genetic tools in invertebrates such as Drosophila and in plants such as maize. With the molecular reconstruction of the salmonid transposon, Sleeping Beauty, it is possible to adapt transposon technology to vertebrate systems, and Xenopus is no exception. In this review, we give a brief history of TEs followed by a description of how TEs are classified and their mechanism of action. We then give an overview of the many uses of TEs as experimental tools. We focus on the transposon system Sleeping Beauty, and describe its use as a genetic tool to facilitate insertional strategies in vertebrates in general, and Xenopus tropicalis in particular.


insertional mutagenesis, sleeping beauty, transgenesis, transposable element, pomc promoter


Department of Pathology, 332 North Lauderdale Street, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.

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